Friday, November 16, 2007

The Panama Hotel

I met my husband at the fabulous Panama Hotel for dinner. What an awesome place. It's a tiny little jewel of a place tucked away in a corner in a really cute neighborhood. We've been there once about 10 years ago and keep meaning to go back.

There was live music last night, which is always cool! The guys name was Mark Robinson and boy, can he croon! He's kinda cute, too, and I had first row seating status! We bought his CD. Have a listen! I liked some of the jazzy cat faster songs better than the ballads.

After finding the somewhat hidden entrance, we made our way to the front desk. We were seated right away at a deuce right in the front. I would have preferred the available 4 top by the window, but surprisingly, this place was hoppin' for a Thursday. After having a moment to peruse the menu, we were greeted by our waitress, and we ordered a glass of wine.

I'm an appetizer slut, thats for sure. I always have to have one! Last night we tried the Ahi Tuna Ceviche (w/avocado, red onion, Serrano chile, yellow cherry tomatoes, & cilantro), and it was just ok. It reminded me more of a tuna tartare than Ceviche. It was served in a low ball glass and homemade tortilla chips, which were delicious.

I couldn't decide on my entree, so I asked our server for a recommendation, and she suggested the daily special. So, my entree was a grilled Petrole Sole served over a cherry risotto cake and a bed of hericot vert salad with cherry tomatoes & Kalamata olives. It was very good--lots of flavors popping-- but it was too busy for me. The fish itself was very good, as it was firm, and simple. I was trying to behave and went for the fish, but I really wished I had gone for the pork chop. I mean, doesn't this sound delicious?: "Grilled Pork Chop--Organic double cut with ancho chile peach chutney, mashed sweet potatoes, & hericot vert. The man at the table next to us had it and it had a great presentation and he seemed to enjoy it. Oh, well, I got some fish in.

I also got dessert in!!! I was so bad!! I think I needed to make up for the lack of satisfaction with my dinner, because I never order dessert!! I had bread pudding with a caramel hazelnut sauce and a teeny glass of ruby port wine. Delish!

I look forward to retuning to the Panama Hotel soon. Their menu is a bit limited, but the food was very creative and overall delicious. Plus, the service was impeccable! And I'm all about excellent customer service!

I'm giving this place 4 stars. ****